Audio Sancto, which offers free podcasts of Catholic sermons, currently features a beautiful homily given last Sunday on healing from childhood abuse.
The priest (who is not named, as Audio Sancto requires listeners to maintain priests’ anonymity so that the homilists don’t get inundated with listener questions) gives exceptionally helpful advice for those seeking spiritual healing, and particularly for those who need God’s grace to forgive their abuser.
Towards the end of the homily, after giving practical advice based on his pastoral experience and the Catholic sacramental life, the priest recommends my book My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints and reads from it, including this passage:
No matter what evil was done to us, if we, like the saints, offer our hearts to God, he will accept us as we are, with all our past experiences. Your heart right now contains all the raw material he needs to mold it so that, with his grace working over the course of time, it may become like his. This is true no matter how damaged you may feel. So long as our hearts long for union with Jesus’ Sacred Heart, our feelings about ourselves will not prevent such union, because God’s love is stronger than feelings. It is a presence.
This loving presence is what the saints now enjoy, and what they want to bring to us, through their example and prayers. The stories of their lives—how they suffered, and how they emerged from their sufferings into greater holiness—show that God not only wants to heal our wounds: if we let him, he will heal us through our wounds, making everything we have endured serve to draw us nearer to him in love.
I don’t know who the priest is, but I am very grateful to him for sharing my book. Most of all, I thank God for his having the courage both to discuss healing from abuse and to tell his parishioners why all the faithful need to learn how to help those who suffer from such wounds.